One of the best ways to help children cultivate healthy eating habits at a young age is by getting them involved with cooking meals. Having kids assist in meal prep allows them not only understand how foods should be prepared, but also helps them understand what different healthy ingredients look like and how much of each ingredient they should be using when they cook in the future. Furthermore, children are often more excited to try and eat things they have helped create.
It can be tough to think of ways to get children involved in the cooking process, especially since the kitchen is filled with dangerous appliances and kids tend to be mess-prone. Below is a list of a few tips that can help you engage your child during meal prep.
- Have children help measure out quantities of ingredients. Allowing children to measure out ingredients not only helps them get used to the physical process of measuring things out, but allows you to teach them about measurement values like cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc.
- Let children do small, appliance-free activities in food prep. It can be daunting to let children work with appliances like blenders or knives. However, letting them do simple, appliance-free activities like tearing lettuce for a salad or kneading dough for a pizza will not only allow them to work with their hands and have fun, but soothe your worries as well.
- Let kids be taste testers. This is especially helpful if you have a picky eater on your hands. Research has shown that simply exposing children to different fruits and veggies multiple times will make them more likely to like and try the food in the future. So, don’t hesitate to let your child be a “taste-tester.”
These are just a few suggestions to start your child off on a path to healthy eating habits. Hopefully, they help you promote a happy, healthy lifestyle for your children and family.
Written by Menaka Suri